Psalm 119: 41-48 Vav
41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your word;
42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.
43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.
44 So I will keep your law continually,
Forever and ever.
45 And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek Your precepts.
46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.
47 I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.
48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments ,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.
That feeling, that mountain-top experience, that high… when your faith is so strong you know with all your heart that nothing can bring you down at this moment. You trust in His word, you keep His laws, you share His word and are not ashamed, you find delight in His commandments. You love.
Vav/ Vau/ Waw (depending on your translation) is the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, likewise the sixth section in this Psalm. There are two requests in this section of the Psalm followed by six (Vav) promises. The underlying premise of this section is found all throughout scripture, He offers mercy and salvation to those that obey His Word. The writer’s thoughts are a reflection of the mercy and kindness the Lord has already given. This Psalm reiterates scriptures that are found throughout the Bible, that those that seek Him and follow His word will receive mercy, love and kindness.
The first of the two requests is that the Lord will continue to show lovingkindness so that the Psalmist will be prepared with an answer when faced with people that will reproach him. Paul writes in Colossians 3:16a to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another. The writer “trusts in [His] word.” When you are dwelling in it you will be prepared because His words will be written on your heart and be in your mind. The second request is that the writer will be patient and wait on His timing and His truth. He asks “not to take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth.” He can’t get enough of the word. He wants to be continually fed. When thinking of the word Vav, the meaning is hook or spear. A tool that would be used for catching fish that will be used for food, which connects to this idea of being fed, “not taking the word of truth out of my mouth.”
Now we have the six statements of action or promises from the Psalmist. The Psalmist is taking a personal approach with these promises and starts most of them with the statement “I will”. The first is “I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.” The writer knows that keeping the law isn’t a one and done situation. In John 14: 23, Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” The next promise is “I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.” The writer has the notion of freedom or liberty because he seeks His precepts or commands. We are told that there is freedom (liberty) where the spirit of the Lord is and that the Spirit of the Lord is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3: 17). The next promise from the writer is “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” Again, this concept of bravely sharing testimony is again, found in scripture. 2 Timothy 2:15, tells us, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” We continue with “I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.” The writer is expressing His love for the commandments the Father offers. He will find delight in them and love them.
We generally have a basic understanding as to why the Lord has given us commandments to follow, some may be easier then others for us to follow, but when given commandments do you take delight in them? Do you add an emphasis of stating you love them? This is followed by our next declarative statement, “My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, Which I love.” Hands lifted up show us that the Psalmist is in awe of Him. He raises hands out of respect, honor and praise. Hands lifted also shows a willingness to work. James 1:23 reminds us to not just be hearers of the word but doers as well. The writer with his hands up, shows the Father that he is ready to work.
Our final statement continues to show his love for God and the power of His word, “I will meditate on Your statutes.” The act of meditating is not an emptying of our mind process. Cassandra Martin in her study, Our Father in Heaven…Teach Us to Pray, says it is a “discipline of having God’s words echoing through our minds and hearts and keeping our eyes fixed on Him throughout our day” (p. 93) . The writer is meditating on His statutes, as Philippians 4:8 reminds us “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.” (NKJV)
Our writer had confidence, faith and love in our heavenly Father. He knew of His lovingkindness, mercies and steadfast love and used this vav/vau to “hook” us into delighting in His steadfast love.
by Heather Powell